The Halifax Ultimate Reward account was set up, and charged clients a range of fees between £10 and £30 per month, where the Bank provided some benefits to clients to justify this fee. The benefits included mobile phone protection, credit card protection and travel insurance, as well as other gimmicky add-ons such as slightly cheaper family days out to theme parks etc.
Unfortunately the Banks have yet again shown a lack of respect for their clients. Instead of promoting the product correctly and selling the product to clients in a way that is acceptable by the regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) they have instead, over the last 10 to 15 years chosen to push and, therefore mis-sell, these particular products.
Mis-selling of a Package Bank Account (PBA) can happen in a number of ways and ranges from:-
– certain free accounts not being offered as an alternative;
– the products that the Banks offer (that are covered by the payment for the account) either not being appropriate or;
– for whatever reason you would be unable to claim when certain elements of the product, for instance telephone cover, are not specifically detailed and it is not explained that phones must be registered by yourself to obtain the cover or;
– when you look at closing or cancelling a particular account with this fee, your request is denied or rebuffed in some way.
The Banks began charging the Package Bank Account (PBA) fees in order to supplement their income from a loss, as they are no longer selling Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), and this was an easy way for them to generate significant revenues. It is estimated by the financial regulators, that there are at least 11 million accounts of this nature (at present) in place in the United Kingdom. The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) instigated a report several years ago in relation to the selling (or mis-selling) of these Package Bank Accounts (PBA’s) and have found that on a large number, the facilities were in fact mis-sold. It is the reason why a claim can now be made and, justifiably, a refund can be looked to be obtained, including the refund of the premiums and interest from the inception of the account.
We have been representing clients for many years and dealing with Bank Complaints since the late 1990s where, as an example, our standard client refunds for the PBA accounts are figures of anywhere between £1,000 and £2,500. As a firm we work on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis and therefore if, for whatever reason we are unsuccessful in the claim, there is no fee to pay.